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Parliamentary questions
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30 November 2016
Question for written answer P-008949-16
to the Commission
Rule 130
Ildikó Gáll-Pelcz (PPE)

 Subject:  Assessment of Fidel Castro by leaders of EU institutions
 Answer in writing 

On 29 November 2016 Commission spokesperson Margaritis Schinas held a press conference at which he spoke inter alia of the Commission’s views on the death of former Cuban President Fidel Castro. According to the spokesperson, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker had been representing the official view of the Commission. The Commission President had said that Castro was a hero to many, and that history would judge his legacy. Margaritis Schinas also referred to Federica Mogherini, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, who described Fidel Castro as ‘a man of determination and a historical figure’.

In contrast, on the same day Cecilia Malmström, the Transport Commissioner, who is Swedish, said: ‘Fidel Castro was a dictator who oppressed his people for 50 years. Strange to hear all the tributes in the news today’.

In this context I would like to ask the following:

Does the Commission not consider contradictory this positive assessment of a leader who is known to have had masses of people killed and imprisoned and supported the Russian occupation of many countries that are now EU Member States?

Why are the Commission statements on this matter full of contradictions? Which attitude can be regarded in future as the Commission’s official standpoint?

Furthermore it was Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker who greeted the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán at an EU summit with the exclamation ‘Hello, dictator!’. At the time he used the epithet jokingly; what are his reasons for not wishing to apply it to a real tyrant?

Original language of question: HU 
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